To receive the Rev. Robert Morris scholarship, Amanda met the criteria of being a graduating high school senior and member of the Church in good standing, and filled out an application and submitted a minimum 500 word essay highlighting elements of her personal involvement in the mission of First Church.
The “mission” of First Church is loosely defined as all the services and activities the Church holds or sponsors to give outreach to the community, locally, nationally, or around the world. As a member of the Church, Amanda has participated in Church School, Youth Group, and other activities of the Church. The essay she has written builds upon these experiences and informs how they have molded and guided her religious growth.
On behalf of the Missions Committee we congratulate Amanda and wish her much success in her college experience.
Jay Hodge, Diaconate Chair
“What First Church Means to Me”
by Amanda Little
My parents moved to Pembroke in August, 1999 and became members of First Church in Pembroke in December, 1999. My parents were married in First Church on April 21, 2001 and one year and one day later, I was born on April 22, 2002. Then I was baptized at First Church on June 2, 2004. At that time, little did they know what this church would mean to me.
We attended church regularly on Sunday’s and I remember attending Sunday School while my parents stayed in the church area (sanctuary). I loved going downstairs into the basement of the church and making something fun. I loved hearing a bible story then making something related to the story. I used to bring my paper or project upstairs after all the adults were coming out of the church area and I could not wait to get my hands on those delicious donuts they always had after church.
My little sister would not attend Sunday school as she was attached to my mother’s hip. So, my Mom became a Sunday School teacher for my little sister’s class and was a member of the C.E. Committee. I loved that she was always there with us and involved.
My mother used to read me bible stories at bedtime with a children’s’ bible I received as a gift from by baptismal. By the time I was in 3rd grade, I had read two bibles and knew all the bible stories that the Sunday School teachers would read to us.
I remember always being excited to go to church, not only for the donuts, but I would see the same familiar faces, hear a good story that would make me think and feel good about God and Jesus and make something fun to bring home that my Mom would hang on the refrigerator only to be replaced by the project or paper I would make the following week.
I remember all the older kids in high school attending church and listening to all the great stories about them attending City Reach and West Virginia and always thinking “I want to be just like them”. Well I got what I wished for, because soon enough I was attending City Reach and West Virginia. I was confirmed at First Church and fed the homeless at Father Bills with my confirmation class. I remember always helping out during the summer fair by grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, and seeing what joy the church brought to all the kids attending the fair. I loved the cookouts at the Herring Run at the end of the Sunday school year and for years held the title as winner of the pudding pie eating contest. I think I played every role in the Christmas pageants from all the years involved, the advent wreath making and the many pot luck dinners.
My fondest memory of church was when I was about 5 years old my mom and dad happened to take separate cars to church that day. Probably because my mom stayed so long during coffee hour chatting with her friends. I was outside playing in the playground having fun. I felt like I was out there for a long time and went inside to see when we were leaving. Well, I couldn’t find my mom or dad and I was starting to panic. Come to find out my mom thought my dad took me home, so she left without me. When she got home and realized my Dad didn’t take me home, she called the church and Gail Sim had assured her I was fine and safe in the kitchen with her. My mom raced back to the church and was told “Amanda is fine and safe; she was with her church family”.
My mom used to always tell me “The greatest gift you can give a child is the gift of faith”. I can’t wait to pass on the same to my own children.
I have always felt safe, secure and loved when I was inside the walls of First Church.